When it comes to motorcycle trailers, one of the most debated topics is whether or not to use a swivel coupler. Some people swear by them and would refuse to tow without one, while others say they’ve never had a problem with a standard straight coupler. In this article, I’ll address the features and benefits of a swivel coupler as well as some of the myths that have surround them.
A swivel coupler is primarily a safety device that allows 360-degree rotation of the trailer, while minimizing its effect on your motorcycle. A swivel will help keep your bike upright in the event that your motorcycle trailer tips on its side. This can occur during an accident, or even something as simple as cutting a corning too close and clipping a curb with your trailer.
A swivel is also designed to help limit the side load to the motorcycle while cornering, but a myth surrounding swivels is that you can’t lean into a corner well enough with a straight coupler. If you are towing with a large touring bike, you will generally scrape your footpegs or floorboards before coming to the end of rotation on a standard straight ball coupler. If you are towing with a sport touring bike that has the capability to lean heavily into corners, a swivel coupler could increase the allowable lean angle. I would highly recommend using a swivel coupler with a sport or sport touring motorcycle. If you are towing a motorcycle trailer with a trike or car, you do not need a swivel coupler.
Tip over Insurance
There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as dropping your bike in a parking lot, but when hooked to a trailer, the situation can be escalated from embarrassment to trip ending and costly. When a bike is hooked up to a trailer and drops to the ground, there is a risk of bending something on your trailer, bending your hitch, or possible even bending your motorcycle subframe. Having damage to one of these items can quickly halt and ruin an enjoyable motorcycle trip.
The only real downside to a swivel coupler is that it adds additional cost to your trailer. Considering that it could save your motorcycle trip or keep you and your bike off the ground, it’s a small price to pay. Kompact Kamp sells swivel couplers for all of their trailers using a 2” x 2” tongue. Our swivel is built with lightweight aircraft quality aluminum construction and can be purchased on our online store.
Watch this instructional installation video to learn how to add a swivel coupler to your motorcycle trailer:
See a swivel coupler in action on a sport touring motorcycle: